Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

First Advisor

Marcia R. Parsons


Morris, L'Allegro, Dance technique, Pedagogy, LMA


This thesis analyzes Mark Morris' choreography for pedagogical purposes. It explores Morris' technique and style by investigating one of his most acclaimed works: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. Because this evening length piece offers a large selection of sections, a total of thirty-two, it provides many possibilities to investigate Morris' musicality, creative process, and style. The musical aspect of Morris' work is examined by focusing on how he often molds the dance to the musical score involving specific rhythms, canons and counterpoints. Analysis of his creative process investigates his use of individual and group work, with the implementation of complex choreographic systems. These contain intricate spatial and movement patterns and can reflect the musical structure of a specific composition or are created directly by Morris. Finally, the analysis of his style explores some of his characteristic forms utilized in L'Allegro with particular attention to detailed shapes and gestures, in addition to torso and foot work. For a greater insight, this thesis also includes interviews with Mark Morris, and some of his former company members who were part of the original production. These are Tina Fehlandt, June Omura, and Megan Williams. A second part of the thesis explores the pedagogical potential of L’Allegro’s material. The investigation is first conducted through the lens of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), and then through the lens of LMA adaptations for younger student populations, as utilized in the dance education field, by the New York City based Dance Education Laboratory and Seattle based dance educator Anne Green Gilbert.

Included in

Dance Commons